A lot of preamps on the market do a good job of raising the volume of microphones and instruments, but many pres today are doing only that: raising the volume. These “super clean” designs often leave the signal exiting the preamp sounding much the same as it did entering it, which ends up requiring a lot of work in post-production to get instruments to wake up and sound big in a mix.
If you’re looking for a preamp to actually improve and shape your signal instead, you will most definitely love the WA12 MKII Black. This preamp is designed to transform the tone of plain instruments and vocals into exciting sounds that can stand on their own - so if your mixes lack depth, struggle to sound alive, or are just missing that professional touch you’ve always wanted, the the WA12 MKII Black is the affordable answer.
The WA12 MKII Black is a completely discrete, high voltage, dual-transformer microphone preamplifier design with high gain (+71dB), high headroom, low noise, and exciting sonic performance – which makes it an ideal choice for all types of recording applications. A high-quality mic preamp is one of the most critical pieces needed to achieve that elusive ‘larger than life’ sound, and the WA12 MKII Black delivers on that promise every single time.
The WA12 MKII Black is based around the X731 discrete op-amp, which is our own reproduction of the classic Melcor 1731 - considered by some to be the warmer predecessor to the modern 2520-style op-amp. The X731 can achieve vibrant, clean and lifelike tones, but it can also be driven into mild saturation at much higher gain levels. While the effects of that saturation can range from subtle to obvious, they always remain very pleasing to the ear, and because it was designed around the X731 the WA12 MKII Black can accept any discrete op-amp on the market that conforms to the +/-16v, 2520 pinout standard.
Our ears played a big part in the process of designing the WA12 MKII Black, and we didn’t stop tweaking until anything we ran through it sounded better. Using CineMag USA transformers and an all-discrete signal path, we ensured that this preamp would have the building blocks to compete with the best-sounding preamps on the market, and we’re very proud to offer such a robust and professional design in a small and affordable package.